Rosberg controls chaotic Monaco Grand Prix

By on Sunday, May 25, 2014
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Nico Rosberg claimed his second successive win in a chaotic Monaco Grand Prix to snatch back the lead of the world championship.

Rosberg led all 78 laps to come home ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo as accidents and reliability issues struck rivals behind them.

Rosberg retained the lead at the start ahead of team-mate Hamilton, while behind Ricciardo made a poor getaway and was usurped by team-mate Sebastian Vettel, as well as Kimi Räikkönen – leaving the other Ferrari of Fernando Alonso down in sixth.

The safety car was deployed at the start following a collision between Sergio Pérez and Jenson Button at Mirabeau – leaving Pérez in the wall and out of the race.

Adrian Sutil and Romain Grosjean pitted behind the safety car – the Frenchman following a puncture.

At the restart Vettel slowed and completed a tardy lap before returning to the pits. The German complained of being stuck in first gear and headed out for another couple of laps before retiring.

Rosberg and Hamilton ran within a second of each other at the head of the field while Räikkönen soon slipped back. The German began to tighten the screws on his team-mate as he opened the gap up to over a second, with Räikkönen, Ricciardo and Alonso all spreading out.

The safety car was deployed on lap 25 following a crash from Adrian Sutil. The German driver pitted early and had made some decent moves on Romain Grosjean, Marcus Ericsson and Max Chilton but lost control under braking for the Nouvelle Chicane and caused terminal damage to his C33.

The leading duo pitted behind the safety car and maintained their order, while in the pit lane Toro Rosso released Jean-Éric Vergne into the path of Kevin Magnussen. A vocal Hamilton questioned Mercedes’s strategy on the radio while Räikkönen was hit by a lapped Marussia behind the safety car and was forced to pit, dropping him to 14th and elevating Ricciardo to third.

Magnussen passed Vergne at the restart but appeared to do it before the safety car line and allowed the Frenchman back through – but also let Hülkenberg past as well. Vergne gained the position from Magnussen but was soon slapped with a drive through penalty for the earlier unsafe release. The Frenchman lasted a few more laps before smoke trailed from his STR9, causing his retirement.

Up front the Mercedes pair hammered out an advantage over Ricciardo, who in turn pulled away from fourth placed Alonso.

The battle at the back became spicy as Kamui Kobayashi defended from the recovering Räikkönen, only to find himself overtaken by the Finn and Marussia rival Jules Bianchi, who completed an opportunistic move at La Rascasse.

Valtteri Bottas ran in eighth place but found himself under pressure from Esteban Gutiérrez and had to cut the chicane to retain his place. But it mattered little as smoke came from his Williams and he was forced to retire for the first time in 2014.

Bottas’s retirement elevated Gutiérrez to eighth, but the Sauber driver clipped the inside wall at La Rascasse and spun his car, causing terminal damage to the C33.

Hamilton suddenly dropped back from Rosberg during the closing stages as he complained of struggling with vision in his left eye. Ricciardo closed the gap by one and a half seconds per lap and rapidly caught up with the ailing Brit.

As that duo caught up with lapped traffic, Räikkönen and Magnussen clashed at the hairpin, elevating Marussia’s Jules Bianchi up to eighth place. The Frenchman stayed out of trouble – aside from collecting a five second penalty for lining up in the wrong grid position

Up front Rosberg avoided the chaos to claim victory, 9.2s ahead of Hamilton and Ricciardo, with Alonso in fourth and Nico Hülkenberg a fine fifth, albeit a lap down.

Jenson Button was sixth, while Felipe Massa came home in seventh.

Bianchi crossed the line in eighth but will drop to ninth once his penalty is served - it is nonetheless Marussia's first ever points in Formula 1.

Romain Grosjean and Magnussen rounded out the top 10.

Daniil Kvyat ran inside the top 10 during the early phases but he rapidly lost place and was forced to retire.

Pastor Maldonado was forced to retire after stalling on the dummy grid.

16Nico RosbergMercedesWinner125
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes+9.2 secs218
33Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault+9.6 secs315
414Fernando AlonsoFerrari+32.4 secs512
527Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes+1 Lap1110
622Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes+1 Lap128
719Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes+1 Lap166
88Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault+1 Lap144
917Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari+1 Lap212
1020Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes+1 Lap81
119Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault+1 Lap22
127Kimi RäikkönenFerrari+1 Lap6
1310Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault+3 Lap20
144Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari+3 Lap19
Ret21Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari+19 Lap17
Ret77Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes+23 Laps13
Ret25Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault+28 Laps7
Ret99Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari+55 Laps18
Ret26Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault+68 Laps9
Ret1Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault+73 Laps4
Ret11Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes+ 78 Laps10
Ret13Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault+ 78 Laps15

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